A critical third round of the Australian Prototype Series will see a strong field head to Sydney Motorsport Park in New South Wales this weekend.
The halfway point of the series is reached following a breathtaking round at Winton a month ago, that saw Jason Makris power to victory at the tight Victorian circuit in three highly competitive races.
However, the fast and open Sydney layout is expected to play a key role in deciding the outcome of this year’s championship – with only two rounds to come following this weekend’s trio of races.
After the sole visit to New South Wales, only trips to Queensland Raceway and Phillip Island will remain to decide the inaugural APS title winner this year.
Makris’ three victories at Winton saw him charge to fourth in the APS standings, behind Phil Hughes, Terry Peovitis and Mark Laucke.
After powering to victory in the season opener at Sandown, Hughes’ Radical continued to score solid points at Winton last time out and despite an up-and-down weekend, finished fourth overall – though only gave up 21 points to Makris and his other title rivals.
Peovitis finished third overall at Winton in his RFR FL1 car and consistent performances across the first two rounds have the fast West Aussie just 16 points behind Hughes in the points battle.
Despite a challenging weekend at Winton recovering from engine dramas, Laucke sits just 38 points from the lead, with Makris a further 11 back in fourth.
All four will continue their battle in Sydney this weekend, as will John-Paul Drake, Gerrit Ruff and Jonathon Stoeckel.
Victorian Scott Mackay will make his APS debut driving a Lark Construction-sponsored West WR1000, while South Aussie driver Mark Short returns in his Prince LSR having raced at Sandown earlier this year.
The ongoing battle between the nimble West and Prince Sports Racers and the more powerful yet heavier Radicals is set to go to a new level this weekend.
With a majority of Radical competitors based at the Sydney circuit, the performance gap between the different cars is expected to be closer than ever this weekend.
Looking to lead their charge will be Peter Paddon, who re-joins the APS field this weekend in his No. 1 First Focus Radical SR3.
Twelve months ago, the Sydney driver qualified with a 1m28.6s lap in a Radical event, coming within 0.5s of Roger I‘Anson’s pole achieved in an APS car at the same venue later in the year.
Mark Laucke also qualified in the 1m28s at the same meeting, setting up the competitive agenda for the weekend ahead.
Four additional Radical SR3s will join Paddon and APS regular and championship leader Phil Hughes on the grid this weekend, including APS rookie Aaron Lewis (Rover Coaches SR3), Sue Hughes, Chris Sutton and Kim Burke.
The 14-strong field will tackle three races across the weekend, with two on Sunday to be broadcast live via the Shannons Nationals free livestream.
Friday, 7 July
P1 – 9:25am
P2 – 11:05am
P3 – 13:45pm
Saturday, 8 July
QF – 9:50am
R1 – 13:20pm (9 Laps)
Sunday, 9 July
R2 – 9:55am (9 Laps)
R3 – 14:10pm (11 Laps)
|1||Radical||First Focus||Peter Paddon||NSW||Radical SR3|
|4||FL1||Orlando Phoenix||Terry Peovitis||WA||RFR F1000|
|11||Kumho Cup||Lark Construction||Scott Mackay||VIC||West WR 1000|
|14||Radical||Rover Coaches||Aaron Lewis||NSW||Radical SR3|
|16||Kumho Cup||MSR Motorsport Fabrication||Mark Short||SA||Prince LSR|
|32||Radical||Hughes Motorsport/Pro Vinyl||Sue Hughes||NSW||Radical SR3|
|35||Radical||321 Motorsport||Chris Sutton||VIC||Radical SR3|
|42||Radical||Hughes Supercar Services||Philip Hughes||VIC||Radical SR3|
|44||P1||Mirage Racing – Marina Mirage Gold Coast||Jason Makris||QLD||West WX10|
|53||Kumho Cup||Bryan Stoeckel||Jonathon Stoeckel||VIC||West WR1000|
|55||P1||Laucke Flour Mills||Mark Laucke||SA||West WX10|
|66||Kumho Cup||Jam Motorsport||John-Paul Drake||SA||West WX10|
|68||Radical||Kim Burke||Kim Burke||NSW||Radical SR3|
|88||Kumho Cup||CRC Industries Australia||Gerrit Ruff||SA||West WR 1000|